The University of Queensland in Australia will support up to 10 students yearly who are refugees or asylum seekers, by offering them study scholarships.
The first scholarship allocation is expected to take place during the first semester next year, Erudera College News reports.
The UQ Refugee and Humanitarian Scholarship will cover the full tuition fee and will allocate an annual amount of $8,000 to cover the living expenses for students so they can pursue undergraduate and postgraduate coursework studies.
The UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Deborah Terry AO said that all aspects of the Australian society have benefited from removing financial barriers for refugees so they can study at university.
“Access to education is critical to the settlement and success of refugees and asylum seekers in our community – and their success is our country’s success,” Terry said.
According to her, students who come from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds add value to campuses, bringing different perspectives in classrooms as well as reinforcing the fabric of Australian culture, business and society in general.
Moreover, she said that universities should and could also be doing more to eliminate barriers that refugees face once accessing higher education, claiming that refugees are the most vulnerable category of people who have faced many challenges over the years.
Only three per cent of refugees worldwide have access to higher education, a number which is intolerably low, the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees highlighted.
“UQ’s Refugee and Humanitarian Scholarship demonstrates our University’s commitment to champion diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity,” Terry stated.
Scholarships are available to student residents in Australia who are on a bridging visa E, Temporary Protection Visa or a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa. Whereas, the application process is open since December 4, 2020, and will remain open until January 22, 2021.
In 2018, there were a total of 23,002 refugees in Australia, making up 1.39 per cent of the global total.
Recently, the Australian government and universities have called on international students who have been stuck abroad or could not manage to resume studies amid pandemic, to return to the country next year.
Yet, many international students have already decided to not go back to Australia and continue studies later in 2021 fearing travel restrictions and remote learning.